The name Kundapura can be traced to the Kundeshwar temple built by Kundavarma in the vicinity of the Panchagangavalli river. The name of the town may be derived from Kundavarma who ruled the area. Kunda means 'pillar' in Kannada, which refers to the traditional method of constructing houses. Pura means town. Kundapura is surrounded by water from three sides. To the north lies the Panchagangavali river. To the east lies the Kalaghar river. To the west lie the Kodi back waters and the Arabian Sea, leaving the south side as the main connecting land mass. All connecting roads to Kundapura enter the city from southern direction. North side of the town is vast backwaters of Panchagangavali river and a bridge has been constructed across it.